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Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Opinion on Tennessee Code Annotated section 20-1-119, Which Is the Comparative Fault Joinder Statute

The Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in Morris v. Phillips, No. M2013-00417-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2013).  The summary from the opinion states as follows:
A multi-vehicle accident occurred in August 2010. The plaintiff initially named only one of the drivers involved in the accident along with the record owner of the driver’s vehicle. The record owner filed an answer identifying three other drivers/tortfeasors involved in the accident in December 2011, and the driver identified the same three individuals as tortfeasors in his answer that was filed seven months later, in July 2012. The plaintiff did not file an amended complaint adding the individuals identified as defendants until August 2012, which was more than 90 days after the first answer was filed. One of the individuals named as a defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff waited too late to add her as a defendant. The trial court denied the motion. The late-added defendant appealed, and we reverse the trial court’s judgment.
Here is a link to the opinion:

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